Found just outside of Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is arguably the most famous slot canyon in Arizona, Utah, or even the United States. As you can imagine, Antelope Canyon is a happening place throughout the year seeing an average of four million visitors annually.
With all of the traffic Antelope Canyon sees, there is a lot of confusion about this mythical place. In order to help those who are looking to hike or visit Antelope Canyon, we put together a post answering the most frequently asked questions.
Where is Antelope Canyon Located in Arizona?
Antelope Canyon can be found on the Navajo Indian Reservation, which is approximately five miles to the east of Page in the state of Arizona. To give you a better idea, this area is to the southeast of Lake Powell.
If you happen to be staying in Flagstaff, Arizona, you will need to drive about 130 miles to reach Antelope Canyon.
Your journey to Antelope Canyon will always begin over in Page though. Therefore, you will want to put that area into your GPS for your drive. You can also enter the address of the Navajo Tribal Office, which is on Coppermine Road. This office is about three miles to the south of Page and will get you in the general area.
Do I need a permit or tour to hike Antelope Canyon?
Yes, you must have a permit and a tour guide in order to hike to Antelope Canyon. While you may not be happy about this in the beginning, once you realize how much you will see and learn with your guide, you will quickly change your mind.
During your hiking tour of Antelope Canyon, you will learn about the history and geology of the canyon. You will also get to hear many of the Navajo Cultural stories that have been told about the canyon over the years.
How much are permits and tours to Antelope Canyon?
There is a flat fee of $8 for the permit to Antelope Canyon. As for the price of the tours, those vary according to the tour company and what is offered. From what I have discovered through my extensive research is that the cost of a tour to Antelope Canyon ranges anywhere from $40 to $200 per person. Most of the time, the cost of your tour will include your permit ticket price, but you will want to verify that beforehand.
If you are a photographer, you may want to sign up for one of the photography tours, even though they cost a lot more. These tours will allow you to spend longer at the canyon, as you try to capture the perfect picture. Plus, the photographer tours are not as crowded.
If you are not a photographer, you can easily choose one of the cheaper tour options. You will quickly learn that more of these tour options are available each day, but they will have a lot of people in each one.
Where can I order tickets for a tour?
You can easily order tickets for your tour from several outfitters. However, before booking your tickets for a tour, you must know whether you want to tour the Upper Canyon, Lower Canyon, or both during your visit.
You can no longer arrive at any of the Antelope Canyon tour offices to purchase a ticket the day you want to take your tour. If you cannot find the tickets you want at the above website, you can check with the few other verified tour companies and book with them online.
The companies I recommend include:
- Ken’s Lower Antelope Tours
- Dixie Ellis’ Antelope Lower Canyon Tours
- Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours
- Chief Tsosie’s Slot Canyon Tours
How long and difficult is the hike at Antelope Canyon?
The Upper Antelope Canyon Trail is only 0.3 miles round trip and the trail is very easy to walk along. The Lower Antelope Canyon Trail is a little longer at .5 miles round trip. That trail is also easy to walk along, but you must be prepared to climb up and down the metal ladders to get in and out of the Lower Canyon.
Which is Better: Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon?
These two canyons are the same in many ways. However, there are a couple of slight differences that will have you choosing one over the other. The light shining in through the Upper Antelope Canyon makes it a popular option for those who want to see what has long been called the “beam of light phenomenon”. However, that beam of light brings many more people to this canyon that the other one.
While you may be ready to venture over to the Lower Antelope Canyon to avoid those crowds, you must be aware that there are ladders you must climb up and down to reach the inside of the Lower Canyon. Those ladders are what make many people choose to explore the Upper Antelope Canyon instead.
Basically, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to the two slot canyons.
You can choose to see whichever one you want and will love every minute of it. If you are still struggling to make a decision though, see them both and then determine which one is your personal favorite!
When is the best time of year to hike Antelope Canyon?
The best time to hike to Antelope Canyon is the months of April through October. The light photographs the best though from the months of April through September, so plan your trip accordingly if you are going to be taking pictures.
You can hike during the other months of the year. Just keep in mind that there could be flooding during those other months and your journey may be canceled due to the weather.
When is the best time of day to hike Antelope Canyon?
There are a couple of times of the day that are the best for hiking to Antelope Canyon. The best time for pictures is the middle of the day because that is when the sun is streaming into the Upper Antelope Canyon from above. If you are trying to avoid the crowds, it is best to visit either of the canyons during the earliest tours or wait until the very last tour of the day.
For the first-timers, hopefully, this post answered some of the basic questions regarding Antelope Canyon. We hope that we’ve provided enough guidance for you to make a decision of when to visit, how to prepare, and how to enjoy Antelope Canyon.
- Hiking Antelope Canyon without a permit
- Visit Antelope Canyon on your own
- Our favorite slot canyons in Arizona
- Our favorite slot canyons in Utah
Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.